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A Christian organization called Movieguide, known for its in-depth analysis of hundreds of movies and TV shows each year, is hoping to make some hay of Oscar’s unusual decision to take back its best song nomination for Alone Yet Not Alone. Hence, on Thursday, Movieguide said it has hastily booked Joni Eareckson Tada to sing the no-longer-nominated song at its annual event, dubbed the 22nd annual Movieguide Faith & Values Awards Gala.
Eareckson Tada is a 64-year-old quadriplegic Christian broadcaster who runs a charity providing wheelchairs to children. She is not a professional singer, yet the Alone Yet Not Alone filmmakers nevertheless hired her to sing the song for the film. The song had been nominated for an Oscar until the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said Wednesday it has been disqualified because songwriter Bruce Broughton allegedly violated rules by emailing Academy members to make them aware of the song during the nominations voting period.
The Movieguide Awards are set for Feb. 7 at the Universal Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles and are expected, as has been the norm for several years now, to attract around 500 attendees. Last year, executives from Universal Studios, Warner Bros. and Walt Disney Studios attended. Disney Channel stars Debby Ryan and Bella Thorne presented awards, along with actors Corbin Bernsen, Jerry Mathers and co-host Joe Montegna. This year, comedian Bill Engvall is hosting.
Some of the movies and TV shows up for awards include Monsters University, Last Man Standing, Shark Tank, Christmas in Conway and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Presenters include Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, the couple behind History’s record-breaking The Bible miniseries, as well as actor-singer Billy Ray Cyrus.
“I think the Oscars shot themselves in the foot by taking away the nomination for Alone Yet Not Alone,” said Dr. Ted Baehr, who runs Movieguide. “It looks so egregiously biased and prejudiced. … It was a terrific song. And the controversy is going to be the greatest thing for the film.”
Alone Yet Not Alone earned just $134,000 in the 21 days of its limited release last year, though it is expected to be re-released in June.
Attendees of Friday’s invitation-only gala each receive a copy of Movieguide’s Report to the Industry, a lengthy document that explores the political and sociological messages in movies and TV shows from a Christian perspective.
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